April 20, 2006
GOLD!The Gold Rush to Columbia, California, began on March 27, 1850 when Dr. Thadeus Hildreth and his brother George discovered gold in the gulches near present-day Columbia. News of the discovery spread, and they were soon joined by a flood of miners. It was first called Hildreths Diggings, and then changed to American Camp. Finally one last change brought about Columbia as the final name.
Unlike many settlements that have changed with the times Columbia, California, seems to be frozen in the 1800s. Today, Columbia State Historic Park is the best preserved of California gold rush towns.At one point this town used to be the second-largest city in California. It also just missed being the state capital by two votes.In the late 1850s, the gold dissapeared and the residents took off too. They left the mining equipment and the buildings behind. In 1945, it was turned into a Historic Park.Columbia had been decimated a number of times by fires, so they purchased the Papeet fire engine. It is still on display in the firehouse.Columbia produced $87 Million in gold in 1860s prices, making for some very wealthy citizens.For more information go to www.columbiacalifornia.com.
From journal Wild West in Columbia, California